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Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory

Rudi Paul Lindner
Provides a new understanding of early Ottoman history

Description

The origins of the Ottomans, whose enterprise ruled much of the Near East for more than half a millennium, have long tantalized and eluded scholars, many of whom have thrown up their hands in exasperation. While the later fourteenth- and fifteenth-century history of the Ottomans has become better known, the earlier years have proved an alluring and recalcitrant puzzle. A reconsideration of the sources and a canvass of new ones has long been overdue. Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory is the first book in over sixty years to reassess the overture to Ottoman history.

In addition to conducting a critical examination of the Ottoman chronicles and the Byzantine annals, Lindner develops hitherto unutilized geographic data and previously unknown numismatic evidence and also draws on travelers' descriptions of the Anatolian landscape in an earlier epoch. By investigating who the Ottomans were, where they came from, and where they settled and why, as well as what sort of relationships they had with their neighbors in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, Lindner makes an engaging and lucid contribution to an otherwise very small store of knowledge of Ottoman history in the early stages of the empire.

"Lindner's strong interest in travel literature and grounding in western medieval subjects have given him the ability to transform this subject into one that is, quite simply, interesting to read and thought provoking to the scholarly reader. He makes a strong case for the importance of Ottoman origins, which has been largely ignored by historians in recent years. This innovative book will have a great impact on medievalists in and outside of the Ottoman field."
---Alan Fisher, Department of History, Michigan State University

"Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory provides a new understanding of who the Ottomans were and where they came from, where they settled and why, and what sort of relationships they had with their neighbors in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. With a critical examination of the Ottoman chronicles that enables the salvaging of nuggets of genuine information and the exposure of deliberate falsifications and by the development of hitherto unutilized geographic and unknown numismatic evidence, Lindner has made major additions to our otherwise very small store of knowledge of the early Ottomans. Through careful treatment of the usual sources, and development of new ones, Lindner shows that more can be said than had been thought."
---John Masson Smith, Jr., Professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Rudi Paul Lindner is Professor of History at the University of Michigan and author of Nomads and Ottomans in Medieval Anatolia, part of Indiana University's Uralic and Altaic Series.

Cover illustration courtesy of Clive Foss

Praise / Awards

  • "Lindner's strong interest in travel literature and grounding in western medieval subjects have given him the ability to transform this subject into one that is, quite simply, interesting to read and thought provoking to the scholarly reader. He makes a strong case for the importance of Ottoman origins, which has been largely ignored by historians in recent years. This innovative book will have a great impact on medievalists in and outside of the Ottoman field."
    —Alan Fisher, Department of History, Michigan State University

  • "Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory provides a new understanding of who the Ottomans were, and where they came from, where they settled and why, and what sort of relationships they had with their neighbors in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. With a critical examination of the Ottoman chronicles that enables the salvaging of nuggets of genuine information and the exposure of deliberate falsifications, and by the development of hitherto unutilized geographic, and unknown numismatic evidence, Lindner has made major additions to our otherwise very small store of knowledge of the early Ottomans. Through careful treatment of the usual sources, and development of new ones, Lindner shows that more can be said than had been thought."
    —John Masson Smith, Jr., Professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

  • "In this sense, the book achieves its aim of keeping open old questions rather than providing clear answers. In raking over the foundations of the dynastic myths once again, it may even succeed in bringing some elusive grains of truth slightly closer to the surface. "
    —Christine Woodhead, The Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

  • "What the author has done is to cut the earliest period of Ottoman history down to size and to contextualize it within the landscape of late-thirteenth century/very early fourteenth-century Bithynia, offering us a salutary reminder that the earliest Ottoman Wesen was a very small-scale enterprise indeed...Thus, via a subtle and gentle playing around with some of the various quandries, loose ends, and tantalizing topoi that best the field, he has managed to demythologize and demystify the whole subject of Ottoman origins. Future scholarship on the subject, it is to be hoped, will take note of and learn from him."
    —Colin Heywood, University of Hull

Look Inside

Copyright © 2007, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted April 2008.

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 152pp.
  • 3 B&W photographs and 3 charts.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2005
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-09507-0

Add to Cart
  • $80.00 U.S.

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